Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee with a Royal Butterscotch Cake

Anyone visiting the UK at the moment can’t fail to have spotted that there’s something festive going on this week. Every shop is decked out with red, white and blue bunting for the Diamond Jubilee of HR Queen Elizabeth II. In my home town of Doncaster, visitors to the town centre will be able to enjoy a special treat based on the famous Doncaster Butterscotch and adapted from recipes from Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking . I’ve joined forces with Doncaster Tourist Information Centre  and our local Doncaster College to produce a celebration event. We’re also very grateful for the support of Sainsburys & Taylors of Harrogate. The students will be baking Butterscotch cakes and serving them up and collecting donations for Teenage Cancer Trust. Here’s Grandma Abson’s Butterscotch and Orange Cake recipe.
Grandma Abson’s Butterscotch & Orange Cake
5 oz (175grams) butter
5 oz (175g) soft brown sugar
3 eggs
5 oz (175g) self raising flour (sieved)
Pinch of salt
Grated rind of 1 large orange
Strained juice of ½ orange 

“Preheat the oven to 180°C, Mark 4, 350F. Line the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with non-stick baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs and add a little at a time, adding a dessertspoonful of flour with each egg. Fold in the remaining flour, the orange rind and the orange juice. Divide the mixture between the 2 cake tins and bake for about 25 minutes until they start to shrink from the sides and a skewer inserted into the centre comes away clean. Place on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the rack and leave until cool.”

Filling and topping
3 oz (75g) butter
3 oz (75g) demerara sugar
2 oz (50g) flour (or cornflour)
4 fl oz (100ml) milk
Butterscotch chips
Icing sugar

“Melt the butter and sugar in a pan (preferably non stick) and stir over a low heat for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the flour a little at a time, adding the milk alternately. Stir well, using a (non stick) whisk. Allow to cool slightly. Smear the top of the cake very lightly with a small amount of the filling. Cover the other cake with the filling. Then place the first cake on the top. Sprinkle the butterscotch chips over the top. (They should stick to the cake). Finally, dust the top with icing sugar.”

Grandma’s 3 tips for a perfect sponge cake :
1. Have all the ingredients at room temperature before mixing.
2. Make sure the butter is soft before adding the sugar.
3. The mixture should be a ‘dropping’ consistency so it falls off the spoon.

What is Butterscotch?
Originally used as a treatment for invalids, Butterscotch is made from butter and brown sugar. It’s similar to toffee but is cooked to a ‘soft’ crack rather than a ‘hard’ crack’ and has become very popular in America for cake fillings.  The original Royal Doncaster Butterscotch was by appointment to the Royal Household so provides a fitting local tribute to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. 

Thanking back to 60 years ago, tea was still rationed in 1952 and sugar until 1953 so it’s not too hard to see why many of Grandma’s recipes use less sugar. In 1953 when the coronation actually took place, sugar and butter rations were doubled for a short while but all food rationing didn’t end until July 1954. 

Enjoy Grandma Abson’s celebration recipe and check out lots more in her book!

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